A 350% rally in one year doesn’t seem like much when you account for the wild bull run that the Indian stock market is currently on. But Borosil Renewables’ breathless performance comes despite threats to its hold over the Indian solar glass market. For over a decade, the family led-company has been the only domestic manufacturer of solar glass in the country.

Solar glass is a specially coated, patterned glass that lets only a minimal amount of heat through it. It’s generally used in greenhouses, building facades, and solar power plants, and helps use power more efficiently. China, unsurprisingly, accounts for nearly 97% of global solar glass production. Borosil, though, has managed to establish itself as the largest non-Chinese producer of solar glass in the world. In India, it has a 40% market share.

That may soon change. India’s expanding renewables ambitions—it wants to fulfil 50% of its energy requirements through renewable resources by 2030—has jacked up the demand for solar glass as well.

The government itself has reached out to companies to ensure more players in the market. “We were approached by the government to participate in making solar glass,” says Jimmy Tyagi, director of New Delhi-based Gold Plus Glass Industries. “We then did a thorough study and realised the space is only going to grow.”

In August, the privately-held float glass float glass Float glass Float glass is essentially a smooth, distortion-free glass used in automobiles, windows, mirrors, furniture among others. maker announced plans to set up a solar glass factory in south India as part of a larger capacity expansion plan. The plant is expected to be operational by September 2023, and will produce 300 tonnes of solar glass per day. Gold Plus Glass, backed by Azim Premji’s investment arm Premji Invest, also plans to raise Rs 2,400 crore (US$322.7 million) and is mulling an IPO mulling an IPO The Economic Times Gold Plus Industry to raise Rs 1,200 crore via IPO Read more .

The real game-changer, however, is the entry of heavyweights such as Reliance Industries and Adani Group. Reliance aims to enable at least 100 gigawatt gigawatt GW According to U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, 3.125 million solar panels are required to produce 1 GW of energy. (GW) of solar energy by 2030; it plans to build a solar gigafactory build a solar gigafactory The Ken Reliance’s future-proof wager against China’s solar might Read more that covers the entire solar chain—from silica to cells to modules.

AUTHOR

Shruti Sonal

Shruti is a Delhi-based reporter who looks at India's clean energy ecosystem through the lens of the intersection between businesses, policy and environment. She has previously worked with Reuters and Outlook Business.

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